Liberty today- rethinking railway shed into a cultural space
Launch February 15, 2020
Registration Ends: 7th Sep 2020
Submission Deadline: 22nd Sep 2020
Result Announcement: 26th Nov 2020
Statue of Liberty with its changing timely definition has always been a universal symbol of freedom, patriotism and liberty. A gift by France to the USA in 1889, it embodied hope and opportunity in the era the country had entered into.
The terminal along with nearby Ellis Island and Liberty Park constitutes the Historic Trilogy.It holds great national value besides being a cultural and historic melting point. Despite the universality of its image, what the place represents is open to interpretation. In the broadest sense - it was a gateway to America. The first welcoming sight for immigrants. It also was a symbol of liberation for slaves during the late 1800s. During the 2001 Terrorist attack, it became a symbol of strength. It’s meaning changing with time and through many cultural barriers.
The presidency of Donald Trump has stirred debate about what it means to be an American today. In lieu of changing political and cultural spectrum, what does liberty mean today?
Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal is part of the Liberty State Park. While the historic terminal has been converted into a museum, the railway shed remains a desolate space. It sits as a broken link in the chain that connects all these growing cultural areas. Vacant since the train traffic at the terminal ceased in 1964, the old departure boards and columns still loom. Prohibited for public access, the shed today presents only a shadow of its former use.
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